Author Topic: Better to work on ourselves than to work on others.  (Read 4087 times)

KhedrubGyatso

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Better to work on ourselves than to work on others.
« on: June 29, 2012, 02:29:22 AM »
We habitually like to correct others faults, point out others mistakes. We do this without any firm certainty nor valid basis other than our own limited views, bias and incomplete understanding. This also applies when we criticize other religions, faith or belief systems or try to impose our will on others. It is far better to develop genuine understanding and experience of our own practice and being an inspiration to others to follow our example.We need to have some measure to know if we are doing it right.

Here are 5 ways to check if we have progressed in our practice.

1.   Has our spiritual work increased with time?
2.   Have our delusions like anger and jealousy decreased ?
3.   Are we smiling more, opening up more to care for others ?
4.   Do we find joy in learning dharma even if we already know a lot?
5.   Do we have devotion to our Lama ?
Please sincerely share your inputs as it will encourage others to take responsibility. Where we are lacking in certain areas of  our practice and attitudes , to strengthen and improve on them immediately.

bambi

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Re: Better to work on ourselves than to work on others.
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 04:53:46 AM »
Yes, it is very easy for everyone to start pointing fingers and blaming everyone but themselves due to selfish and ignorant issues. I do admit I do that sometimes and it is exceptionally wrong because here I am on 1 hand say I practice Dharma and on the other I do the opposite of it.  :-[

Lead by examples! From what I do, definitely I want to lead and show them that they should also do the same be it in a Dharma or secular world. Do not talk ill, act smart, back stab, cheat, lie, etc hat cause people to lose faith in what we are doing. Have integrity and humility most of all.

I strongly believe, whether we have progressed or not in our spiritual path, does not depend on what we say or believe about ourselves but when people around us starts to notice that we have indeed become better in every way. That's how we know that we have progressed. Have anyone told you that you've changed and became better?  ;D

Here are 5 ways to check if we have progressed in our practice.

1.   Has our spiritual work increased with time?
Although not tremendously but I am working on it. Not only saying it but with actions.

2.   Have our delusions like anger and jealousy decreased ?
Definitely decreased. I found out that there are no benefits in the 3 root poisons (desire, hatred and ignorance) so I don't want to waste my precious time and energy to feel that way.

3.   Are we smiling more, opening up more to care for others ?
I have friends who noticed that I am more cheerful and happier after Dharma. One cannot be selfish of giving love and care so yes, I definitely care more now.

4.   Do we find joy in learning dharma even if we already know a lot?
Yes please. How can one get bored of learning more?

5.   Do we have devotion to our Lama ?
By following everything that He ask to do and mind transformation are the devotions that a Lama wants.

biggyboy

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Re: Better to work on ourselves than to work on others.
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 08:12:33 PM »
When we either correct others faults or pointing out others’ mistakes are usually people who are the ‘devils’ themselves too.  Why?  If we have not been experiencing the faults or mistakes before how would you able to spot through on others’ similar faults and mistakes?  Isn’t that click?  We need one similar devil to spot the other devil.

Yes, there are times people impose their will on others on what it should be and not base on their knowledge and understanding which no doubt may be limited.  But I would say that he or she may have the better edge or knowledge and experience over others and they would stick their neck out to speak out, of course this will depend on his/her motivation and intent.  If base on sincere motivation to help and guide each other for the betterment of oneself and many, it would be the best reciprocal action to create the cause in supporting each other.  Hence, the crucial support sincere care and understanding for each other. 

Anyway, no one is perfect with answers, methods or solutions to problems or situation.  We do the best we can have and along the way we correct and improve.  Definitely, there are times we may rise and fall along the way.  Most importantly, we must know how to pull ourselves together and move on with an open mind and alleviate ourselves and not repeat them over and over again.

1.  Has our spiritual work increased with time?
     Oh yes! Why? Because I want to as I do not wish to be stagnant. Am not getting younger anymore
     nor I may not have the similar opportunities again.


2.  Have our delusions like anger and jealousy decreased?
     Definitely. Still there are remnants of it and striving to reduce them over time.

3.  Are we smiling more, opening up more to care for others?
     Yes!  There are times when we were too preoccupied with other matters on mind, our innate
     underlying negativities self cherishing evil surfaced without mindfulness to arrest it that instant.
     Guess, we have to continuously be mindful.


4.  Do we find joy in learning dharma even if we already know a lot?
     Learning dharma is a never ending process.  How can we say that we already know a lot?  I dare
     not. It is always a joy to continuous learning even is a repeating topic or lessons.


5.  Do we have devotion to our Lama?
     Transformation and practising dharma in accordance with the Buddha’s teachings and our Lama’s
     instructions.



http://www.thubtenchodron.org/BuddhistNunsMonasticLife/LifeAsAWesternBuddhistNun/how_to_rely_on_a_spiritual_friend.html

Sometimes we rely on the Lama because we don't want to think for ourselves. It is easier to think, "I'll just do what my guru wants." We may think this is devotion, but in fact it is just confusion. Devotion does not mean continuously following the teacher around and asking where to go, what to study, and even what to eat and what to wear. Real devotion is to practice pure Dharma in accordance with the Buddha's teachings and the lama's instructions.

We all have our inner wisdom, our inner guru. The role of the outer guru is to help us to bring forth our own Buddha mind. To some extent the guru can be considered as a parent, but only on a very high or subtle level, and certainly not on an emotional level. His job is not to take care of us like our father or our mother did.

Our teachers act as a mirror. When we seek advice, they show us exactly what is in our mind, like a mirror reflecting back what is there. They may give advice and help, but basically they are just there without projecting anything from their side. They perceive what we are projecting and show it to us. In this case, what our guru tells us to do is what we ourselves want to do, but we may not have the courage or wisdom to admit it to ourselves. At other times, the guru may tell us to do something, not because he actually wants us to do that, but because he wants us to learn how to use our own wisdom and become strong enough to make our own decisions. In this case, he is using skillful means to help us develop that inner wisdom. However, such skillful means may not be easy to understand unless we have gone through the experience ourselves.

Dolce Vita

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Re: Better to work on ourselves than to work on others.
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2012, 12:44:55 PM »
It is so true that we always look at others' faults but not our own. We definitely have a lot of bad habituations to be corrected, otherwise we would call ourselves Buddha already. Instead of just picking up people's faults, we should be looking at ourselves too.

I have been in spiritual practice for the past 1 year or so, let's see if I have progressed a little bit.

1.  Has our spiritual work increased with time?
     Yes, my spiritual work has definitely increased with time. I share Dharma knowledge with people now, most are my personal experiences.

2.  Have our delusions like anger and jealousy decreased?
     That is for sure. I used to swear so much when I am driving or stuck in the jam. Now, I just take it easy,

3.  Are we smiling more, opening up more to care for others?
     I do notice I smile more. I am involved in quite a few charitable works to help people who I do not know.

4.  Do we find joy in learning dharma even if we already know a lot?
     I won't say I know a lot. I would say I know more than yesterday. Dharma is very profound, I do not think I will ever know all of it. I will continue to learn

5.  Do we have devotion to our Lama?
     I found my guru devotion is stronger than before. Everytime I think of my lama's compassion, I will make a wish that I will never be parted from him.

Dondrup Shugden

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Re: Better to work on ourselves than to work on others.
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2015, 06:17:01 PM »
The examples set out are great reflection of our daily lives events.

When we study the 8 verses of mind transformation and practise on them, it will definitely give us more happiness and peace to change ourselves than to try change others.

If we have no capacity to control our mind, how can we control others.  That would be blaming and making our ego bigger and bigger.

pinecone

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Re: Better to work on ourselves than to work on others.
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2015, 03:24:55 PM »
The moment problem arise,  pointing fingers, finding other’s faults and blaming others are the normal habitual of majority. Instead of being guilty, some will eventually pretended to be innocent and feel good after finding the scape goat. In reality the main source of all the unhappiness, anger, discontentment, jealousy, disappointment etc arise from our self-cherishing mind . Since it is self cherishing , it does not arise in others but in oneself. Hence, it is logical that we must work on ourself.

Kim Hyun Jae

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Re: Better to work on ourselves than to work on others.
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2015, 03:12:51 PM »
Our minds came with obscuration we created ourselves including bad habituation. On this basis, the answer is Yes - I do agree that we do have to work on ourselves 1st before we can be of help to others. But this does not stop us to help others while we are working on ourself. Kind of a chicken and egg situation. If we can't help others, we can always refer others to senior practitioners or sangha member who know better.




eyesoftara

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Re: Better to work on ourselves than to work on others.
« Reply #7 on: March 09, 2015, 09:07:11 AM »
In this degenerate age it is said the the only way to be enlightened is to adopt "King-like Boddhicitta"; that is to become enlightened first before one can truly have the ability to help others.  That is not to say that we disregard others along the path because it is almost impossible to be enlightened if there is no basis of the practice that is not based on others. It is only that we must target our enlightenment as the primary goal and sometimes because of our lack of qualities and skill we do have to refrain from helping others physically.